The popularity of eSignature solutions has skyrocketed in the last year, as part of companies’ digital transformation efforts in the COVID-19 environment.
Organizations considering eSignature solutions need to be thoughtful about the eSignature technology they implement and think about a range of requirements such as technology infrastructure, scale, security, choice, and licensing models.
To select a suitable eSignature solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. We’ve talked to several industry professionals to get their insight on the topic.
Sameer Hajarnis, eSignature Practice Leader, OneSpan
The unpredictable impact of the coronavirus pandemic has ignited action from businesses to digitize their processes in order to maintain their business continuity.
Enterprises looking to adopt an eSignature solution should look for:
Secure regulatory compliance: eSignatures are accepted around the world, but different regions and countries have different frameworks in place to permit them such as UETA and eIDAS. Although eSignatures are compliant and give electronic signatures the same legal weight as traditional wet signatures, enterprises should make sure the eSignature solution can support your organization across different geographies while remaining compliant.
Strong identity assurance: Security is understandably a top concern with digital agreements, so it is important to make sure eSignatures collects evidence to prove that the customer is who they say they are, that their identity is not fraudulent and that they intended to electronically sign the agreement. This includes strong identity assurance using multiple different identity verification capabilities including one-time passcodes (OTPs), government IDs, knowledge-based authentication (KBA) and biometrics.
White-labeling: What can an enterprise do to protect its customers and reputation? White-label the entire eSignature experience. Enterprises should put the spotlight on their brand to ensure an uninterrupted transition between the branded application and the eSign application. White-labeling results in high completion rates and high customer adoption rates because it establishes trust between the company and customer.
Lakshmi Hanspal, Global Chief Security Officer, Box
In the new era of hybrid work, streamlining digital transactions is more important than ever. As more transactions finally move from paper-based manual workflows to the cloud, eSignatures have become an important way business gets done – from fast-growing companies hiring and onboarding employees virtually, to global pharmaceutical companies working with networks of healthcare providers to distribute medical supplies and vaccines faster. Organizations are enabling new ways to work securely, with digital-first experiences across every customer interaction.
When choosing an eSignature solution for your business, it is important to look for technology that is easy to adopt and difficult to exploit – it must be easy and intuitive for users, but also highly security-focused to keep your content secure. In 2021 and beyond, every company must be a security first company. eSignature solutions should only be considered if they provide secure, compliant and legally binding signatures, while also allowing the customer to define a single, consistent governance policy across the content journey.
Your eSignature provider should also integrate with your existing cloud-stack and best-of-breed tools for communication and collaboration. eSignature needs to be built-in to the workflows where our employees and partners are already collaborating in order to increase productivity. Such signatures should support omni-channel (any device, any browser), multiple document formats, and comply with regulations that are relevant to your organization.
Jerome Levadoux, SVP of Sign, DocuSign
Most eSignature software solutions are easy to use, integrate with other apps and the document management systems you use, have identity verification and give you access to premade templates.
Here are the top things you should look for when picking an eSignature provider:
- It should provide an easy signing experience regardless of the device you are using. This will enable you to get agreements signed faster, while providing signers a delightful experience.
- It should seamlessly connect with the apps your organization already uses. Pre-built integrations and APIs for custom-built integrations enable you to adopt eSignature technology into existing workflows.
- It should help eliminate manual tasks in sending and signing workflows. Automated and configurable workflows enables users to create, modify, and scale the agreement processes in a self-serve manner – saving time and driving increased adoption.
- It helps you mitigate risk with robust security and compliance controls. Trust is critical. The best eSignature software will meet and exceed the most stringent US, EU, and global security standards. It should also provide continuous monitoring of the security and privacy landscape to ensure your agreements comply with the latest state, federal, and international requirements.
Zak Pines, VP of Partnerships, Formstack
With dozens of eSignature tools on the market, finding one that works best for your businesses can be a challenge. Here are 6 key considerations:
Legal and compliant: Are the signatures legally binding and secure? An audit trail plays a vital role when the authenticity of a signed document is in dispute, and should be the first thing to look for in an esign tool. HIPAA-compliant signatures are important to safely esign documents that contain healthcare data.
Built for enterprise: Does the vendor understand my industry? Does it integrate with my system of record? Look for tools with a robust API and integrations that can scale with your business.
Speed and reach: Mobile apps as well as features like SMS/text delivery and email can offer more convenience for signers, and helps you close business faster.
Designed for everyone: Is the tool designed with both the customer and the end user in mind? Features like reusable templates and drag-and-drop can speed up document creation, and email and SMS/text are signer-friendly delivery options.
Built-in workflows: Tools that combine esign with data collection and document generation workflows can save hundreds of hours in manual work for your organization.
Peer reviewed: Do they have high ratings and reviews from satisfied customers? Look for peer reviews from verified users, and not paid commenters.
Vijay Sundaram, Chief Strategy Officer, Zoho
Last year, the global digital signature market reached $2.8 billion. Organizations have more eSignature options than ever to choose from, and the pandemic has driven up the business need dramatically. With that, here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the right eSignature software for your business.
Legality: Laws around eSignatures vary by country. An eSignature in Saudi Arabia, for example, must meet a higher burden than in other regions. Solutions therefore come in tiers—normal e-sign, advanced e-sign, qualified electronic signatures, etc. Your eSignature solution should meet the legal standard everywhere you do business.
Integration: The right eSignature solution needs to integrate seamlessly across internal legacy apps via API and popular everyday apps. Only then can businesses properly automate workflows.
Pricing: This one seems obvious, but eSignature solutions come with different pricing models, and businesses should be wary of overspending on software that promises to do more than that company needs.
Ease and accessibility: An eSignature app should be easy to implement and its interface should be self-explanatory, otherwise nobody will use it. The best solutions also must be accessible anywhere with native mobile apps to scan, sign, and manage documents on the go.
Robin Tombs, CEO, Yoti
eSignature technology helps businesses transform outdated paper based processes. The biggest benefits of eSignatures come through saving admin time and improving experiences for customers and staff. Therefore, an e-sign platform must be easy to use for quick staff adoption. The signing process should be also intuitive for the customer to make the document return quickly and without the need for handholding.
An electronic signing process is more cost effective than paper or email cycle, but businesses will incur new costs implementing eSignatures. There are many vendors with similar offerings, which brings the choice to find the e-sign platform that delivers the best ROI for your business. Don’t pay a premium for features that you don’t need.
Businesses seeking greater automation, often choose API integration. Buyers should verify whether the API code is easy to implement to reduce integration time and cost.
Product security should be key. SO2 and ISO 27001 are the key certifications validating data security. A proven track record working with large enterprises is a quick proof point that the vendor has sufficient IT infrastructure and processes (customer care and IT support) in place.
Additionally, we see an increasing trend in large enterprises requiring to verify signer’s identity on point of singing which reduces risk of phishing and hacking.